Long exposure of stars rotating around the north celestial pole from an equatorial latitude of southern Mexico. The foreground is the Palace at Mitla. The World Heritage Site of Mitla is the second most important archeological site in the state of Oaxaca and was inhabited perhaps from as early as 900 BC. It began as a fortified village on the outer edge of the valley and later became the main religious center for the area. Mitla is one of the pre-Columbian sites that represent the Mesoamerican belief that death was the most consequential part of life after birth. It was built as a gateway between the world of the living and the world of the dead.



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